Message from Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, OPH
We know families are frustrated with the experience regarding the return to school for children who have experienced non-COVID related symptoms or illness, or who recovered from COVID-19. Many schools or childcare providers are denying entry to service without a medical certificate or proof of a negative COVID-19 test, which is not recommended by OPH.
We understand that the return to school has been more challenging this year than usual. Many residents are experiencing high levels of stress and frustration with policies instituted to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in schools.
We understand this is a very difficult time. At Ottawa Public Health (OPH), we are continuing to learn through our experience and are working to refine our processes, where possible, to help make it easier for everyone involved.
OPH has received many examples of children being denied entry to school or childcare without a medical certificate because they had been identified as having an illness that has similar symptoms to that of the COVID virus.
In response to this issue, OPH has developed and made available a standardized Attestation for Return to School for Students Following Illness template letter for families with children returning to school following symptoms of illness. The letter can be downloaded by parents and guardians on the OPH Supporting Schools during COVID-19 webpage and, if one of the four conditions is met, can be used to allow their child to return to school .
Please note OPH does not require a negative test result or a medical certificate for those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 to go back to school, childcare or work after the isolation period has been completed and symptoms are no longer present.
We are extremely grateful to all of our school partners for their continued support and cooperation.
Please continue sharing the OPH Supporting schools during COVID-19 webpage with residents, as it is continuously updated with new resources for families.